Maryland 2nd Grader Suspending For Chewing Pop Tart Into Shape Of A Gun

An example of zero tolerance gone really insane:

A 7-year-old Anne Arundel County (Md.) boy was suspended for two days for chewing his breakfast pastry into the shape of a gun and saying, “bang, bang”— an offense that the school described as a threat to other students, according to his family.

The pastry “gun” was a rectangular strawberry-filled bar, akin to a Pop-Tart, that the second-grader had tried to nibble into the shape of a mountain Friday morning, but then found it looked more like a gun, said his father, William “B.J.” Welch.

Welch said an assistant principal at Park Elementary School in Baltimore told him that his son pointed the pastry at a classmate — though the child maintains he pointed it at the ceiling.

“In my eyes, it’s irrelevant; I don’t care who he pointed it at,” Welch said. “It was harmless. It was a danish.”

But we must keep our children safe from Assault Pastries!

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. al-Ameda says:

    American exceptionalism at work – we’re getting to be exceptionally dumb.

  2. PD Shaw says:

    Gun nuts:

    In Pennsylvania, a 5-year-old was suspended for talking to classmates about shooting her Hello Kitty gun that blows bubbles.

    (From Doug’s link)

  3. PD Shaw says:

    More gun nuts:

    A Florida high school student wrestled a loaded gun away from another teen on the bus ride home this week and was slapped with a suspension in return. . . . The student said the suspect, a football player, threatened to shoot a teammate because he had been arguing with his friend.


  4. JKB says:

    There is no place in America for pastry “gunsmiths”. I blame the Europeans, they introduced the Danish into our schools.

    But all is not lost, the school has offered counseling to any student traumatized by the event. Presumably by the sad realization their teachers are morons, who see the Devil in every bite pastry.

    Our school counselor is available to meet with any students who have the need to do so next week. In general, please remind them of the importance of making good choices.

    because we as educator do not set a good example of making good choices.

  5. JKB says:

    @PD Shaw: her Hello Kitty gun

    Which was at home and not anywhere near the school. She was told she’d be arrested if she set foot on school property again which caused her parents to have to park off campus when picking up her siblings at the school.

    But in reality, he comment demonstrated more of future club girl or stripper than menace to society. Unlike the so-called adults who traumatized her with threat of arrest and removal from her friends and family. I agree with Instapundit, sending your kids to public school is pretty much parental malpractice.

    But then the Progs fear the invocation of the Devil by the most benign reference to that object which cannot be named.

    This was brought to you by the letter “L”. Just don’t let it fall over to the right or it must be banned from schools for eternity.

  6. PD Shaw says:

    Not a big deal, no guns:

    A young bullying victim in a medically induced coma died Sunday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Bailey O’Neill, who turned 12 last week, was placed on life support after suffering seizures following a schoolyard attack. . . . The two students who attacked Bailey were suspended from school for two days but not criminally charged.


  7. Franklin says:

    This is the sort of thing that I imagine when Michael Reynolds suggest the liberals will overreach in the future and he may have to change his vote.

    /By the way, I could totally see my kid doing this. And I could totally see myself moving him into a private school in the aftermath.

  8. Michael says:

    A weapon of mass confection!

  9. CB says:


    I blame the Europeans, they introduced the Danish into our schools.


  10. Just Me says:

    I miss the days when we used to sneak water guns into school on the last day so we could have water gun fights at very sneaky times.

    The absolute worst thing that would happen if caught was the teacher would confiscate your water gun (although one teacher was rumored to step on them and break them).

    Now we all would have been treated like criminals.

    Zero tolerance essentially removes common sense from the school system.

    A poptart eaten in the shape of a gun is not dangerous and isn’t going to hurt anyone. If the student made other kids uncomfortable then teacher just tells him to stop and that ends it.

  11. legion says:

    The only way to stop a bad breakfast is is with a good breakfast of all your essential vitamins and minerals. Including lead!

  12. Gustopher says:

    I hope this goes into the student’s permanent record.

  13. Tsar Nicholas says:

    We can laugh about this sort of nonsense, but it relates to a much larger slate of issues that are about as funny as terminal cancer.

    Leftism really is a mental disorder. And with rare exceptions those property tax bills of yours arguably are the most toxic invoices you receive each year. That money is going into the pockets and funding the agendas of people who make the “Guam could capsize” quip appear sentient. That’s especially the case in arenas such as the Baltimore public money school districts.

    Back when I was a kid, where I grew up, the notion of a school district becoming so loopy PC idiotic that this could happen simply would have been inconceivable. And that was a New York public school district during the bad times. Sure enough our decline has become so pronounced that this story at various levels is not all that surprising much less shocking.

    Separate but quite related topic:

    28.4% – unemployment rate, ages 16-17
    20.8% – unemployment rate, ages 18-19
    14.2% – unemployment rate, ages 20-24

    Those numbers are not coincidental.

    If Gen. Y were a horse it’d be sent straight to the glue factory. Seriously. They’re just not going to make it.

  14. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    I think that we need to get back to the good ol days when, as my building principle noted to me, “Our zero tolerance drug policy is not about zero tolerance or keeping drugs out of school, it’s about having a rationale for suspending students that we don’t approve of.”

    It would be ok to go back further, too.

  15. Franklin says:

    Actually my impression of the argument *for* zero tolerance is so that discipline is applied equally, i.e. the principal doesn’t get to suspend “bad” black kids but let the “good” white kids off. I can’t think of any other reason to have a policy where nobody is allowed to think.

  16. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    This is a direct and entirely predictable consequence of the anti-gun hysteria movement. The cumulative effect of all these anti-gun measures is to get people — especially children — to go completely pants-crapping hysterical at the mere sight or even thought of a gun. And once enough people are inculcated to be that totally irrational, banning will literally be child’s play.

    It’s the same kind of thing we saw with the whole “Reefer Madness” craze.

    That kid punished for stopping a would-be shooting? Of course he needed to be punished. He was “involved” in a gun-related incident. Besides, if he had minded his own business (or, better yet, gotten all hysterical), we’d have yet another bunch of bloody shirts to wave in the call for “sane gun control measures.” He ruined what could have been a damned fine propaganda incident.

  17. rodney dill says:

    ….in Detroit the kid would’ve chewed it into the shape of an AK-47 and actually shot someone with it.

  18. Just Me says:


    Actually my impression of the argument *for* zero tolerance is so that discipline is applied equally, i.e. the principal doesn’t get to suspend “bad” black kids but let the “good” white kids off. I can’t think of any other reason to have a policy where nobody is allowed to think.

    I think this is pretty much why we have them.

    And I can see an argument for equal zero tolerance for the exact same act (eg if a white and black kid bring a real gun to school they should be punished equally).

    I don’t understand the zero tolerance where a gun shaped pastry=a gun, or a fingernail file=a knife, or advil=heroin.

    But even then there needs to be some room for descretion-even the courts have a range of punishment available for a crime because in most cases even the exact same crime will have varied mitigating factors.

    Zero tolerance essentially means educators are checking their common sense at the door and to some degree I think zero tolerance is about avoiding having to defend a punishment. When an administrator can point to the handbooks and say “My hands are tied” they don’t have to use their brains to make a real decision or defend it.

  19. Franklin says:

    @Just Me: Well said.
    @Jenos Idanian #13: Not well said.

  20. rodney dill says:

    …for a second grader I would think they could’ve thought of a cruller punishment.

  21. Ken in CT says:

    And these anti-gunners have the guts to call the pro-second amentment crowd “gun nuts”! C’mon folks…who’s really nuts here? I’ll say one thing – if you can’t tell the difference between a pop tart and a pistol you shouldn’t be trying to teach kids ANYTHING!!!

  22. Hatt Katt says:

    Please stop joking about this serious matter. I was once held up by a Pop-Tart shaped like a handgun. I, at first, was skeptical because I’d never seen a 9mm with delicious strawberry filling and sprinkles. But the robber, like the 7 year old, was a tricky one and said “bang bang”, which, of course, made a believer out of me.

  23. Sue them for a huge amount to roll back the tyrants!